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  • Daniel Rodman

Possession

When we possess something it means it belongs to us, meaning that it is set in distinction to other things that we do not possess and that others may not possess. When we possess things they become a part of a group of objects that exist within our dominion, and therefore they are for our use and enjoyment. Some objects we possess may have varying levels of significance or meaning associated with them, everything from a fruit, a vase, a computer, money, a memento of some place or time, or some object of spiritual significance like a Bible or prayer beads.

When these objects take their appropriate place in our lives, each for their own use or purpose, then we are in balance with our possessions. However, when our possessions possess us, like being attached to money and how our life, social status, or prestige relates to it, that is when we loose ourselves in the superficial. It is easy in our consumer-based world to think that owning the next best phone or clothes or car will make us cool, socially acceptable, and therefore worthy of regard and love. However this is a losing battle, since there is always something newer and cooler than what you have. Basing your happiness on just that will always be a let down.

Finding perspective in relationship to our possessions is a good way to overcome their allure. Ultimately, realizing that there are more important things than possessions and money allows us to focus more on the things that matter most: our relationships with those close to us, to the Divine, and to our exuberance and appreciation for life as a whole. Recognizing our innate completeness and never allowing any possession or want for a possession cover that up is a powerful practice. We are all innately precious, and for that we are complete as we are. Having what we need is important, but having less wants rather than more is an asset.

When we meditate we can recognize in our minds that we believe we possess our body, and that we possess a self or “I”. The reality is that our notion of possession is a primary basis of attachment, from which we grasp at our body and our “I” as being solid and separate from others, which is the basis for all selfishness in our lives. If we are able to let go of these things, to stop possessing our body and possessing our ego, then we are free of our own self-possession, our own self-grasping. This experience of liberation from grasping is felt in the depths of meditation when we loose ourselves in the deeper meaning of the moment, one that is free of all limitations and possession. May you come to find a balanced way to relate to your possessions, and may you free yourself from your own self-possessive tendencies that you may feel liberated and open-hearted.

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